Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Turning Over a New Leaf

Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.” John 3:3

Have you ever tried to turn over a new leaf, i.e. change a behavior pattern that was not particularly endearing and / or healthy?

Perhaps you have a short fuse and are quick to get angry. At times you are impatient, or get frustrated easily.  Maybe you are someone who is generally discontent or unthankful. You find that certain people frustrate you or make you anxious.  A lack of self-control may plague you or perhaps your pride gets in the way.  For others of us we are just selfish.

Most likely your willingness to face such behaviors is painful at best and any attempt at overcoming these unwanted behaviors is short lived.   We are however in good company.  One of the things that I most appreciate about Scripture is that there is no attempt to white wash anything.  The main characters are every bit as human as you and me.

Take Solomon for example.  With the exception of Jesus, Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived.  He came to the conclusion that hoping to change his own life was sheer folly.  Though he was powerful, wise, and rich He discovered that life was much like chasing after the wind.

I’m still trying to process how Solomon was the wisest man who has ever lived yet he had 700 official wives and 300 concubines.  I would guess he wasn’t big on remembering anniversary dates or having deep meaningful conversations with his wives.  But I digress.

This doesn’t mean that change is impossible.  What I believe is that change is difficult if not impossible if we attempt it in our own strength.  From the time we truly accept Christ as Lord and Savior until we go home to be with him we are to be constantly growing in those qualities that reflect who Christ is.  The incredible news is that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and that with Him and by Him we are capable of making lasting heart changes.  Patience for example is a Fruit of the Spirit as is self-control, etc.

With the help of the Holy Spirit we can turn over a new leaf provided, as Jesus informed Nicodemus, we are “born again”. (John 3:3)



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